The Library Test Kitchen

A colleague just sent me the link to this Harvard Graduate School of Design course, #: ADV-09115-00, Bibliotheca II: The Library Test Kitchen, which is being taught this spring by Jeffrey Schnapp and Jeffrey Goldenson. The course website describes the course:

This is a seminar about making. We will focus on designing, building and deploying products, services & experiences, broadly defined, to the Harvard Library community. After a brief crash-course in library theory and practice, we will begin creative work. As projects gel, students will deploy them in Test Kitchens – partner libraries, such as the Loeb and Widener Libraries, that allocate portions of their public space to these experiments.

and includes a provisional syllabus which describes the aims and questions for the course:

Aims: with the financial support of the Harvard Library Lab, to design, build and deploy products, services & experiences that model the future of the Harvard Libraries.

Questions: what form should the Harvard Libraries assume in the 21st century? Should they simply vanish into virtual desktops and merge into a timeless and placeless universal database? Should they alter their identity and become workshops, laboratories, innovation incubators where emerging and future forms interact and dialogue with the relics of the past? Or should they simply merge with the university itself as a place of knowledge production and reproduction?

According to the website, projects will be installed in the libraries by April 5th, , and I’m really looking forward to seeing them. If they’re going to be putting a bowling alley down the middle of a large reading room (see the provisional syllabus) I need to get my Brunswick power slide ready!

More as it happens,

Cheryl LaGuardia About Cheryl LaGuardia

Cheryl LaGuardia always wanted to be a librarian, and has been one for more years than she's going to admit. She cracked open her first CPU to install a CD-ROM card in the mid-1980's, pioneered e-resource reviewing for Library Journal in the early 90's (picture calico bonnets and prairie schooners on the web...), won the Louis Shores / Oryx Press Award for Professional Reviewing, and has been working for truth, justice, and better electronic library resources ever since. Reach her at, where she's a Research Librarian at Harvard University.